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S.4 Citizen

At this moment Citizen is the largest manufacturer of watches and movements in the world. The shares are widely scattered and not owned by one family or institution.

1918Citizen is founded by Mr. Yamalaki, the owner of a small jewellery store. He started 'Shokosha', a workshop equipped with Swiss machines. Its first product was a pocket watch which was named 'Citizen Watch', developed by Mr. Goto, Mayor of Tokyo.
1924Citizen's first pocket watch manufactured in December.
1930After the reorganisation and expansion of the Shokosha workshop, the Citizen Watch Co.Ltd is founded by Mr. Makajima.
1932Citizen merges with the watch case factory Star Shokai.
1935Opening of the new factory in Tanashi, Tokio.
1936Start of watch exports.
1941A merger with Nitto Seiko Co. is established for the production of precision tool machines for watch making.
1940During the war Citizen produces mainly war material and is seriously damaged by bombs.
1946The new president, Mr. Eliichi Yamada, sets up postwar production: the start of a success-story.
1949An independent sales company is founded: the Citizen Trading Company Ltd.
1953Technical and commercial co-operation between Citizen and Rhythm Watch starts. Rhythm Watch controlled an important part of the large-scale clock making market. According to an agreement of 1961, Citizen obtained the right to market about 80% of the products of Rhythm Watch under its own name.
1956The 'Parashock', the first Japanese shock-resistant watch reaches the market in 1956. The watch is an improved version of the 1931 'Parashock'.
1958The first Japanese mechanical alarm wrist watch, the 'Citizen Alarm', is put on the market in June.
1958Licence and trade agreement with Bulova Watch Company in the USA. Between 1960 and 1970 about two million 'Caravelle' Bulova watches were uipped with Citizen movements.
1964Citizen establishes the Tokorozawa Technical Laboratories for research purposes and the development of electronic watches.
1966In March, Citizen presents the first electronic watch in Japan, the 'X-8 Cosmotron' with spring balance and transistor. At the same time Japan's first electronic clock, the 'Elitron', is marketed.
1967The X-8 Cosmotron, a man's transistorised watch with four magnets on the balance and two fixed coils, is launched in October. Movements were sold to about twenty foreign companies including Bulova, who manufactured complete watches under their own name: cal. 0802, 0820, 0884, 0840, 0880, 4840. Citizen was faced with strong competition from the cheaper Seiko-Electronic 3300. The first quartz table-clock by Citizen, the "Crystron", is marketed in January.
1970A joint venture between Citizen (49 %) and Bulova (51 %) is agreed for three years. It leads to the production of hundreds of thousands of the 'Hi Sonic', a tuning fork watch for the Japanese market and later on for the South-east Asian market. In June, the IC-12 (caliber 5800), a lady's watch with an integrated circuit (IC), eight magnets on the balance and two fixed coils is launched. At that time it is the smallest electronic watch ever produced for ladies.
1971In October Citizen marketed the first Japanese tuning fork wrist watch: caliber 3700. Production capacity rises to eight million watches.
1972The Citizen 'Quartz Crystron Alarm' (caliber 9021), the first LCD watch in the world with alarm. The 'Bulova Citizen Watch Co.Ltd' was founded in April 1972.
1973'Citizen Quartz Crystron'. The first quartz watch of Citizen with balance and hands (cal. 8811B) marketed in August.
1974In April, Citizen starts the sale of the first LCD watch by Citizen, the 'Quartz Crystron LC' (caliber 9010 A). It is the first LCD watch with time, day and date. Citizen develops a prototype of a solar-powered analogue watch. The expensive cadmium battery prevented commercial production. The Citizen 'Quartz Crystron LC' is released: the first lady's LCD quartz watch in Japan.
1975Citizen 'Quartz Crystron LED'. In December, the Citizen 'Quartz Crystron Mega', the first quartz watch with an extremely high frequency of 4,194,304 Hz reaches the market.
1976In April, Citizen markets the 'Quartz Crystron LC/Alarm'. The first LCD watch with an alarm, caliber 9021. In August, Citizen markets the 'Quartz Crystron Solar Cell'. The first solar cell watch with hands. The Citizen 'Digital Slim'. At that moment the thinnest LCD watch in Japan. Pierre Cardin designs a range of watches for Citizen.
1977The first Japanese LCD quartz watch with calculator is marketed in April.
1978In January, the Citizen 'Quartz Crystron Multi Alarm' (caliber 9100A). The watch comprises two independent alarm functions, each with its own signal. Citizen breaks the one-millimeter barrier in the quest for the flattest watch in the world and manufactures a movement (caliber 7900 or 790).
1980In November, Citizen marketed the smallest ladies' analogue LCD quartz watch: the Citizen Quartz 1500.
1982Citizen 'Ana Digi Temp'. The world's first electronic watch with a built-in thermometer is marketed in November. With the Citizen 'Seven Quartz Spectro' the intensity of light can be measured.
1984The Citizen 'Quartz Voice Memo'. A watch with a built-in sound recorder.
1985In December, Citizen markets the first diver's watch with an electronic depth meter, the Aqualand, which measures depth to 80 meters.
1987In July, the Citizen 'VX-2 Voice Master' is marketed. All functions can be activated solely by the speech of the owner.
1992World's first analogue multizone radio-controlled wrist watch.


Citizen uses a code on the back of their watches: 4-122165 means: December 1964, 1974, 1984 or 1994 and the quantity produced at that moment is 2165 pieces.

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Copyright by Pieter Doensen

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